“Dreamer” by SiDizen King x Brandyn Burnette

On his latest single, “Dreamer,” SiDizen King teams up with fellow artist Brandyn Burnette, Grammy-nominated songwriter Mckay Stevens, and producer Sean Cook to produce a song that is not only inspirational but meant to raise awareness about the plight of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients. We had the pleasure of interviewing SiDizen King, and here’s what he had to say:

Q: I love how well-written “Dreamer” is! And the passionate delivery added to its inspiring feel. How did this song come about? I see you were a DACA recipient. What message did you hope to convey with this song?

SiDizen King: I don’t know that we voiced any specific intention for the song but the prevailing desire in the room was to create something that captured that stubborn perseverance that ignores the odds. As we worked together to fill in the blanks in the chorus, I felt compelled to share my story as a Dreamer/a recipient of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and that’s what inspired the title and direction of the song from that point. We finished up the chorus that night and I wrote my verses separately. While the lyrics apply to anyone striving to realize their dreams, I wanted to craft my verses (especially the second verse, e.g. “can’t no ICE stop my shine…” in a way that nodded directly to those, like me, who live as foreigners in their own home.

Q: Can you walk me through the production of this song? What was a typical studio session like while creating this song?

SiDizen King: Dreamer was started in the peak doldrums of the pandemic—when things felt especially bleak globally and certainly for indie musicians. No one was doing shows and, while better than nothing, remote writing sessions lacked the energy and creative spontaneity that great collaborations generally call for. Most places were still shut down in LA so we made a makeshift studio in McKay Stevens’ (who I work with on all SiDizen King songs) bedroom in Burbank. It was my first time writing with either Sean or Brandyn but when a Grammy-nominated writer like McKay vouches for other creators, you listen. Sean absorbed everything going on and translated it beautifully into the building blocks of the production. Even in that kind of embryonic state, the song felt cathartic and hopeful.
Brandyn improvised a quick melody and it was clear we didn’t need to hear any other options—he excused himself to an adjacent room for no more than two minutes before coming back with the completed melody and many of the lyrics you hear in the chorus today…he’s got a rain man-esque writing ability that’s pretty incredible to witness

Q: How did this collaboration between SiDizen King and Brandyn Burnette come to be?

SiDizen King: McKay Stevens (who I work with on all SiDizen King songs) arranged for an in-person writing session between himself, Brandyn, producer Sean Cook (Duckwrth, DRAM, Shaboozey), and me. We had some loose inspirations/vibes we thought were cool but really the song started taking shape as we just spoke about life and got to know each other better. Brandyn, McKay, and I connected over our shared experience of growing up poor with mothers that moved heaven, hell, and earth to ensure their kids enjoyed as “normal” a childhood as possible. That led to a conversation about how those struggles served to shape who we’ve become and how we process adversity with an impossible, almost naive sense of optimism.

Q: What effect would you like your music to have on listeners?

SiDizen King: Collectively our hope for the song is that it inspires dreamers (of all varieties) and encourages empathy for other humans, particularly in these divisive times.

Q: What do you wish someone had told you before you embarked on this musical journey?

SiDizen King: Great question! I’m not sure I would have listened, but if I could talk to my younger self there are a few things that I would have shared:
1. The music industry rewards speed, homogeneity, and consistency. If success is measured purely by streams/exposure then creativity is not a prerequisite and likely detrimental!
2. Reread #1 and accept that the pendulum will not swing backwards on this.
3. Don’t be too precious about your art—liberate those songs hiding on your computer.

Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?

SiDizen King: I’d say create, collaborate, and learn as much as possible. Preferably with people better than you! Not only on the music but on the full spectrum of the craft (artwork, video content, PR, booking, etc.). Remain curious about emerging technology and how you can use it to further your goals. It’s hard to overstate how much of an advantage, artists who are self-sufficient have.

Interviewed by Zoey King

FOLLOW SIDIZEN KING:

Instagram

Spotify

SoundCloud

Twitter

sidizenking.com

FOLLOW BRANDYN BURNETTE:

Instagram

Spotify

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